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Wednesday, 21 August 1985
Page: 58


Senator HAINES(10.42) —We will not support Senator Peter Baume's motion to bring item No. 7 to the top of the list. We have argued the toss time and again in recent sessions about whether new reports should go to the head of the list, taking precedence over old reports. I suggest that Senator Baume at least ought to be grateful that we are doing so at the moment and that report No. 7 is not further down the debating list than it would have been if we had simply gone by the practice of slotting new reports in, in order, beneath those that were already on the Notice Paper. I certainly agree with him that if a new report, or for that matter an old report, is urgent it ought to be brought to the top of the list but I would not have thought that confusion in the minds of some members of the community about what is or is not in the report of the Select Committee on Animal Welfare on the export of live sheep from Australia is any indication of urgency.

If we moved the order of business around every time the community was confused about some matter we would be changing the order of business on an hourly basis. I suggest that if we keep going in the way in which Senator Baume is indicating, we will have a situation in which all honourable senators will be bidding for their favourite report to be brought to the head of the list. There is a lot of interest in this place about the Standing Committee on Privileges report which, I point out to Senator Baume, comes after the one on animal welfare. I cannot believe that this place will spend the next hour debating the education and the arts and the industry and trade reports if there is such a keen desire to get on to No. 7. The best way to get on to that debate on animal welfare is to put an end to wasting time debating the suspension of Standing Orders and get on to the item with which we should be dealing.